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November is Native American Heritage Month: Film & Literature Resources
Former Spokane Reservation best friends Seymour and Aristotle have taken different paths. Both went off to college; one is now a successful poet, the other returned home embittered. Tensions and resentments flare as they meet again for the funeral of an old friend.
Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna's, where students are under the mercy of "Popper," the sadistic agent who runs the school.
Native American Poetry Resources
Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake SkeetsNamed a "Best Poetry Book of 2019" by Electric Literature, Entropy Mag, and Auburn Avenue Named a "Favorite Book of 2019" by Lit Hub Named a "Best Queer Book of 2019" by BuzzFeed and Book Marks Selected by Kathy Fagan as a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series,Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers is a debut collection of poems by a dazzling geologist of queer eros. Drunktown, New Mexico, is a place where men "only touch when they fuck in a backseat." Its landscape is scarred by violence: done to it, done on it, done for it. Under the cover of deepest night, sleeping men are run over by trucks. Navajo bodies are deserted in fields. Resources are extracted. Lines are crossed. Men communicate through beatings, and football, and sex. In this place, "the closest men become is when they are covered in blood / or nothing at all." But if Jake Skeets's collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, it is also a fierce reclamation of a living place--full of beauty as well as brutality, whose shadows are equally capable of protecting encounters between boys learning to become, and to love, men. Its landscapes are ravaged, but they are also startlingly lush with cacti, yarrow, larkspur, sagebrush. And even their scars are made newly tender when mapped onto the lover's body: A spine becomes a railroad."Veins burst oil, elk black." And "becoming a man / means knowing how to become charcoal." Rooted in Navajo history and thought, these poems show what has been brewing in an often forgotten part of the American literary landscape, an important language, beautiful and bone dense. Sculptural, ambitious, and defiantly vulnerable, the poems ofEyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers are coal that remains coal, despite the forces that conspire for diamond, for electricity.
Call Number: PS3619.K46 A6 2019
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Currents by Bojan LouisPoetry. Native American Studies. Winner of a 2018 American Book Award. These poems explore American identity and the powers of myth, faith, doubt, and the environment, and the music of these poems resonate with strains of the English, Spanish, and Diné languages. Louis, who has worked as a construction worker and electrician, moves fluently between the literal and symbolic dimensions of work, as he writes in the poem "Electricity": "Any laborer gathered for a tear-out / agrees the pleasure of opening walls/is the view of what's no longer behind." "It takes only the ring of the opening poems in CURRENTS to realize this book does exactly what one hopes a first book will do, bring alive a new, original voice. It's a voice Bojan Lewis not only sustains, but builds, the way, say, a young Sonny Rollins, might shape and vary a singular solo that flows through song after song: raw, kinetic, authentic, a poetry in which language has in common with music the visceral feel of the breathing body behind it."--Stuart Dybek "Bojan Louis' CURRENTS is piercing and polyglot. From the first stark poem, spoken in the voice of a hard-living construction worker in Alaska who regards the sea and thinks of Jonah ('bowel-held / and undigested'), to the last in the voice of Xipe Totec (Nahuatl for Our Lord The Flayed One, as Louis' useful notes tell us), we are swept into a fierce and sublime poetry, part incantatory vision, part caustic critique of government cruelty and injustice toward indigenous peoples. By turns a protest of the earth's poisoning, and as in the title poem, a prayer offered in the Diné 'tradition and knowing,' what CURRENTS crystallizes in these taut poetic concentrates goes straight to our souls: 'The prayer, the prayed to, the offering / and the offered; / the bent back and the harvest.'"--Cynthia Hogue "CURRENTS is charged and luminous under 'butane flame dawn.' Bojan Louis 'stickframesnightmares' into song -- in attempt to heal and jolt awake stories in blisteringholler above his homelands of pot-holed desert highways andreservation borders. An electrician by trade, Diné poet Bojan Louis'debut is a multilingual ceremony of electricity, earth and memory,where brokenness is the ground from which our stories continuereaching for Hózhó."--Sherwin Bitsui
Call Number: PS3612.O789 A6 2017
Publication Date: 2017-11-01
How to Dress a Fish by Abigail ChabitnoyIn How to Dress a Fish, poet Abigail Chabitnoy, of Aleut descent, addresses the lives disrupted by US Indian boarding school policy. She pays particular attention to the life story of her great grandfather, Michael, who was taken from the Baptist Orphanage, Wood Island, Alaska, and sent to Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Incorporating extracts from Michael's boarding school records and early Russian ethnologies--while engaging Alutiiq language, storytelling motifs, and traditional practices--the poems form an act of witness and reclamation. In uncovering her own family records, Chabitnoy works against the attempted erasure, finding that while legislation such as the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act reconnects her to community, through blood and paper, it could not restore the personal relationships that had already been severed.
Publication Date: 2018-12-11
Blue Horses Rush In by Luci TapahonsoWrapped in blankets and looking at the stars, a young Navajo girl listened long ago to stories that would guide her for the rest of her life. "Such summer evenings were filled with quiet voices, dogs barking far away, the fire crackling, and often we could hear the faint drums and songs of a ceremony somewhere in the distance," writes Luci Tapahonso in this compelling collection. Blue Horses Rush In takes its title from a poem about the birth of her granddaughter Chamisa, whose heart "pounded quickly and we recognized / the sound of horses running: / the thundering of hooves on the desert floor." Through such personal insights, this collection follows the cycle of a woman's life and underlines what it means to be Navajo in the late twentieth century. The book marks a major accomplishment in American literature for its successful blending of Navajo cultural values and forms with the English language, while at the same time retaining the Navajo character. Here, Luci Tapahonso walks slowly through an ancient Hohokam village, recalling stories passed down from generation to generation. Later in the book, she may tell a funny story about a friend, then, within a few pages, describe family rituals like roasting green chiles or baking bread in an outside oven. Throughout, Tapahonso shares with readers her belief in the power of pollen and prayer feathers and sacred songs. Many of these stories were originally told in Navajo, taking no longer than ten minutes in the telling. "Yet, in recreating them, it is necessary to describe the land, the sky, the light, and other details of time and place," writes Tapahonso. "In this way, I attempt to create and convey the setting for the oral text. In writing, I revisit the place or places concerned and try to bring the reader to them, thereby enabling myself and other Navajos to sojourn mentally and emotionally in our home, Dinétah."
Call Number: PS3570.A567 B58 1997
Publication Date: 1997-05-01
Native American Poetry Resources
She Had Some Horses by Joy HarjoJoy Harjo's haunting poetry explores the pain, depth, and hope that women share In this powerful collection of poems, Creek Indian Joy Harjo explores womanhood's most intimate moments. Her prose speaks of women's despair, of their imprisonment and ruin at the hands of men and society, but also of their awakenings, power, and love. The recipient of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the American Book Award, Joy Harjo's most recent publications are The Woman Who Fell from the Sky and The Spiral of Memory, a collection of interviews. She lives in Albuquerque, NM.
Call Number: PS 3558 .A62423 S5 1983
Publication Date: 1983-05-01
An American Sunrise by Joy HarjoIn the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother's death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice. A descendent of storytellers and "one of our finest--and most complicated--poets" (Los Angeles Review of Books), Joy Harjo continues her legacy with this latest powerful collection.
Call Number: PS3558.A62423 A64 2019
Publication Date: 2019-08-13
Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie DiazFINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY Natalie Diaz's highly anticipated follow-up to When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages--bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers--be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: "Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden." In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality. Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: "I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible." Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope--in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
Call Number: PS3604.I186 A6 2020
Publication Date: 2020-03-03
When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz"I writehungry sentences," Natalie Diaz once explained in an interview, "because they want more and more lyricism and imagery to satisfy them." This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams. I watched a lion eat a man like a piece of fruit, peel tendons from fascia like pith from rind, then lick the sweet meat from its hard core of bones. The man had earned this feast and his own deliciousness by ringing a stick against the lion's cage, calling out Here, Kitty Kitty, Meow! With one swipe of a paw much like a catcher's mitt with fangs, the lion pulled the man into the cage, rattling his skeleton against the metal bars. The lion didn't want to do it-- He didn't want to eat the man like a piece of fruit and he told the crowd this: I only wanted some goddamn sleep . . . Natalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. She lives in Surprise, Arizona, and is working to preserve the Mojave language.
Call Number: PS3604.I186 W47 2012
Publication Date: 2012-05-08
New Poets of Native Nations by Heid E. Erdrich (Editor)A landmark anthology celebrating twenty-one Native poets first published in the twenty-first century New Poets of Native Nations gathers poets of diverse ages, styles, languages, and tribal affiliations to present the extraordinary range and power of new Native poetry. Heid E. Erdrich has selected twenty-one poets whose first books were published after the year 2000 to highlight the exciting works coming up after Joy Harjo and Sherman Alexie. Collected here are poems of great breadth--long narratives, political outcries, experimental works, and traditional lyrics--and the result is an essential anthology of some ofthe best poets writing now. Poets included are Tacey M. Atsitty, Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Laura Da', Natalie Diaz, Jennifer Elise Foerster, Eric Gansworth, Gordon Henry, Jr., Sy Hoahwah, LeAnne Howe, Layli Long Soldier, Janet McAdams, Brandy Nalani McDougall, Margaret Noodin, dg okpik, Craig Santos Perez, Tommy Pico, Cedar Sigo, M. L. Smoker, Gwen Westerman, and Karenne Wood.
Call Number: PS591.I55 N46 2018
Publication Date: 2018-07-10
From Sand Creek by Simon J. OrtizThe massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho women and children by U.S. soldiers at Sand Creek in 1864 was a shameful episode in American history, and its battlefield was proposed as a National Historic Site in 1998 to pay homage to those innocent victims. Poet Simon Ortiz had honored those people seventeen years earlier in his own way. That book, from Sand Creek, is now back in print. Originally published in a small-press edition, from Sand Creek makes a large statement about injustices done to Native peoples in the name of Manifest Destiny. It also makes poignant reference to the spread of that ambition in other parts of the world--notably in Vietnam--as Ortiz asks himself what it is to be an American, a U.S. citizen, and an Indian. Indian people have often felt they have had no part in history, Ortiz observes, and through his work he shows how they can come to terms with this feeling. He invites Indian people to examine the process they have experienced as victims, subjects, and expendable resources--and asks people of European heritage to consider the motives that drive their own history and create their own form of victimization. Through the pages of this sobering work, Ortiz offers a new perspective on history and on America. Perhaps more important, he offers a breath of hope that our peoples might learn from each other: This America has been a burden of steel and mad death, but, look now, there are flowers and new grass and a spring wind rising from Sand Creek.
Call Number: PS3565.R77 F76 2000
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
Dissolve by Sherwin Bitsui"Bitsui's poetry returns things to their basic elements and voice in a flowing language rife with illuminating images. A great reading experience for those who like serious and innovative poetry." --Library Journal Drawing upon Navajo history and enduring tradition, Sherwin Bitsui leads us on a treacherous, otherworldly passage through the American Southwest. Fluidly shape-shifting and captured by language that functions like a moving camera,Dissolve is urban and rural, past and present in the haze of the reservation. Bitsui proves himself to be one of this century's most haunting, raw, and uncompromising voices. From "(Untitled)": . . . Jeweled with houseflies, leather rattles, foil-wrapped, ferment in beaked masks on the shores of evaporating lakes. This plot, now a hotel garden, its fountain gushing forth-- the slashed wrists of the Colorado River. Sherwin Bitsuiwas raised in White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is the author of two other books of poetry, among themFlood Song, which won an American Book Award. He currently lives in Arizona where he has serves on the faculty of the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Call Number: PS3602.I85 A6 2019
Publication Date: 2018-10-30
Shapeshift by Sherwin Bitsui"Fourteen ninety-something, / something happened / and no one can pick it out of the lineup . . . " In words drawn from urban and Navajo perspectives, Sherwin Bitsui articulates the challenge a Native American person faces in reconciling his or her inherited history of lore and spirit with the coldness of postmodern civilization. Shapeshift is a collection of startling new poetry that explores the tensions between the worlds of nature and man. Through brief, imagistic poems interspersed with evocative longer narratives, it offers powerful perceptions of American culture and politics and their lack of spiritual grounding. Linking story, history, and voice, Shapeshift is laced with interweaving images--the gravitational pull of a fishbowl, the scent of burning hair, the trickle of motor oil from a harpooned log--that speak to the rich diversity of contemporary Diné writing. "Tonight, I draw a raven's wing inside a circle measured a half second before it expands into a hand. I wrap its worn grip over our feet As we thrash against pine needles inside the earthen pot." With complexities of tone that shift between disconnectedness and wholeness, irony and sincerity, Bitsui demonstrates a balance of excitement and intellect rarely found in a debut volume. As deft as it is daring, Shapeshift teases the mind and stirs the imagination.
Call Number: PS3602.I85 S53 2003
Publication Date: 2003-09-01
When It Rains by Ofelia Zepeda (Editor)When it was first released in 1982, When It Rains was one of the earliest published literary works in the O'odham language. Speakers from across generations shared poems that showcased the aesthetic of the written word and aimed to spread interest in reading and writing in O'odham. The poems capture brief moments of beauty, the loving bond between family members, and a deep appreciation of Tohono O'odham culture and traditions, as well as reverent feelings about the landscape and wildlife native to the Southwest. A motif of rain and water is woven throughout the poetry in When It Rains, tying in the collection's title to the importance of this life-giving and sustaining resource to the Tohono O'odham people. With the poems in both O'odham and English, the volume serves as an important reminder of the beauty and changeability of the O'odham language. The themes and experiences expressed by the language educators in this volume capture still-rural community life: children are still bussed for miles to school, and parents still have hours-long daily commutes to work. The Sonoran Desert also remains an important part of daily life--seasons, rain on desert plants, and sacred mountains serve as important markers. In a new foreword to the volume, Sun Tracks editor Ofelia Zepeda reflects on how meaningful this volume was when it was first published and its continued importance. "Things have changed but many things remain the same," writes Zepeda. "The pieces in this collection will be meaningful to many still."
Call Number: PM2174.A2 W48 2019
Publication Date: 2019-03-12
Whereas by Layli Long SoldierFinalist for the National Book Award for Poetry WHEREAS her birth signaled the responsibility as mother to teach what it is to be Lakota therein the question: What did I know about being Lakota? Signaled panic, blood rush my embarrassment. What did I know of our language but pieces? Would I teach her to be pieces? Until a friend comforted, Don't worry, you and your daughter will learn together. Today she stood sunlight on her shoulders lean and straight to share a song in Diné, her father's language. To sing she motions simultaneously with her hands; I watch her be in multiple musics. --from "WHEREAS Statements" WHEREAS confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. "I am," she writes, "a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation--and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live." This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.
Call Number: PS3612.O526 A6 2017
Publication Date: 2017-03-07
Native American Memoirs
Crazy Brave by Joy HarjoA "raw and honest" (Los Angeles Review of Books) memoir from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States. In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.
Call Number: PS3558.A62423 Z46 2013
Publication Date: 2013-07-29
Blonde Indian by Ernestine HayesIn the spring, the bear returns to the forest, the glacier returns to its source, and the salmon returns to the fresh water where it was spawned. Drawing on the special relationship that the Native people of southeastern Alaska have always had with nature, Blonde Indian is a story about returning. Told in eloquent layers that blend Native stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author's life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home. Neither fully Native American nor Euro-American, Hayes encounters a unique sense of alienation from both her Native community and the dominant culture. We witness her struggles alongside other Tlingit men and women--many of whom never left their Native community but wrestle with their own challenges, including unemployment, prejudice, alcoholism, and poverty. The author's personal journey, the symbolic stories of contemporary Natives, and the tales and legends that have circulated among the Tlingit people for centuries are all woven together, making Blonde Indian much more than the story of one woman's life. Filled with anecdotes, descriptions, and histories that are unique to the Tlingit community, this book is a document of cultural heritage, a tribute to the Alaskan landscape, and a moving testament to how going back--in nature and in life--allows movement forward.
Publication Date: 2006-09-21
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot; Sherman Alexie (Introduction by); Joan Naviyuk Kane (Afterword by)A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest--this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is "an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR) Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame. Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
Call Number: RC552.P67 M3555 2018
Publication Date: 2018-02-06
Rez Life by David TreuerCelebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. InRez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present. With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges,he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life. A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture,Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story.
Call Number: E93 .T74 2012
Publication Date: 2012-02-07
Code Talker by Chester Nez; Judith Schiess AvilaThe first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII. His name wasn't Chester Nez. That was the English name he was assigned in kindergarten. And in boarding school at Fort Defiance, he was punished for speaking his native language, as the teachers sought to rid him of his culture and traditions. But discrimination didn't stop Chester from answering the call to defend his country after Pearl Harbor, for the Navajo have always been warriors, and his upbringing on a New Mexico reservation gave him the strength--both physical and mental--to excel as a marine. During World War II, the Japanese had managed to crack every code the United States used. But when the Marines turned to its Navajo recruits to develop and implement a secret military language, they created the only unbroken code in modern warfare--and helped assure victory for the United States over Japan in the South Pacific. INCLUDES THE ACTUAL NAVAJO CODE AND RARE PICTURES
The Scalpel and the Silver Bear by Lori Arviso Alvord; Elizabeth Cohen Van PeltIn a remarkable book that takes the reader on a spellbinding journey between two worlds, surgeon Lori Arviso Alvord describes her struggles to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in Gallup, New Mexicoand to bring the values of her people to a medical care system in danger of losing its heart. Finding the solutions to modern medicine's most daunting problems was far from the mind of a girl from a small, dusty town on a Navajo reservation. But Lori Arviso Alvord would leave the traditional hogans of her people to attend the prestigious Stanford University Medical School and become the first Navajo woman surgeon. Only after conquering the high-tech realm of the operating room would this extraordinarily talented doctor realize something was missing from contemporary medical carean understanding of the whole person who has come seeking healing. The Scalpel and the Silver Beartells of Dr. Alvord's pioneering journey to become a woman surgeon, fighting the odds presented by her own culture and the unspoken rules that made surgery the territory of a privileged class of males. Then, having accomplished her dreams, the strong-willed young woman would find herself faced with a different challenge: learning another approach to medicine amid the Hataali, the medicine men of the Dine, the people we call Navajo. Here in this moving, enlightening, and provocative volume, Dr. Alvord teaches us how she merged the latest breakthroughs of science and methodology with the ancient tribal paths to recovery and wellness. In dramatic encounters while practicing reservation medicinea man whose intestine was pierced by a porcupine quill, which he insisted was placed there by an enemy's curse; a woman who had been struck by lightning and blamed her cancer on it; an all-night winter sing for a gravely ill young woman, attended by the whole communityDr. Alvord witnessed the power of belief to influence health, for good or for ill. She discovered that patients undergoing chemotherapy did better after having a native healer at bedside, and that the feelings of both the patient and the surgeon could affect recovery time, postsurgical complications, and even whether the patient lived or died. The secret, Lori Alvord discovered, lay in the Navajo philosophy of a balanced and harmonious life, called "Walking in Beauty." Her sharing of these ancient principles promises to have an immeasurable impact on today's doctors and patients by expanding the concept of mind-body healing to include the interconnectedness of all life. Personal, simply written, yet profoundly wise,The Scalpel and the Silver Bearjoins those few rare works, such asHealing and the Mind, whose ideas have changed medical practices and our understanding of the world.
Call Number: RD27.35.A45 A3 1999
Publication Date: 1999-06-01
I Am Where I Come From by Andrew Garrod (Editor); Robert Kilkenny (Editor); Melanie Benson Taylor (Editor); K. Tsianina Lomawaima (Foreword by)"The organizing principle for this anthology is the common Native American heritage of its authors; and yet that thread proves to be the most tenuous of all, as the experience of indigeneity differs radically for each of them. While many experience a centripetal pull toward a cohesive Indian experience, the indications throughout these essays lean toward a richer, more illustrative panorama of difference. What tends to bind them together are not cultural practices or spiritual attitudes per se, but rather circumstances that have no exclusive province in Indian country: that is, first and foremost, poverty, and its attendant symptoms of violence, substance abuse, and both physical and mental illness.... Education plays a critical role in such lives: many of the authors recall adoring school as young people, as it constituted a place of escape and a rare opportunity to thrive.... While many of the writers do return to their tribal communities after graduation, ideas about 'home' become more malleable and complicated."?from the IntroductionI Am Where I Come From presents the autobiographies of thirteen Native American undergraduates and graduates of Dartmouth College, ten of them current and recent students. Twenty years ago, Cornell University Press published First Person, First Peoples: Native American College Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, also about the experiences of Native American students at Dartmouth College. I Am Where I Come From addresses similar themes and experiences, but it is very much a new book for a new generation of college students.Three of the essays from the earlier book are gathered into a section titled "Continuing Education," each followed by a shorter reflection from the author on his or her experience since writing the original essay. All three have changed jobs multiple times, returned to school for advanced degrees, started and increased their families, and, along the way, continuously revised and refined what it means to be Indian.The autobiographies contained in I Am Where I Come From explore issues of native identity, adjustment to the college environment, cultural and familial influences, and academic and career aspirations. The memoirs are notable for their eloquence and bravery.